Photos of The people of Ethiopia, Ethiopia

Images of the World
Flag of Ethiopia

The people of Ethiopia

Ethiopia is a very diverse country, with more than 80 different ethnic groups and at least 70 languages spoken, a few by millions of people, others by only a few hundred. Most people speak a Semitic or Cushitic language. Amharic is Ethiopia’s official language, a language that, with Tigrinya and Tigre, is descended from Ge’ez, still the liturgical language used in the Ethiopian church.

Girls from Addis
Happy couple
Boys of Addis
A young girl
Souvenir selling
Woman with butter
Women of Addis
Market Women
A small boy
Young Harari girl
Somali girl
Oromo girls
Harari woman
Shoeshine boy
Herding cattle
Guard, Tis Isat
Men of Tis Isat
Separating fibres
Basket weaving
Young girl
Weaving 'shamma'
Cooking 'injera'
Begging in Lalibela

Amharic has its unique alphabet with thirty-seven consonants, of which the form changes depending upon which vowel sound follows it, making 251 different characters in the language. It used to be taught in all primary schools, but local languages have replaced it in many areas. Of these, Oromo (formerly referred to as Galla, which is now considered a pejorative term) is the most widely spoken first language, used by more than 24 million people in Ethiopia and parts of northern Kenya.

It is estimated that about 44% of its 90 million people adhere to the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, one of the few pre-colonial Christian Churches in Sub-Saharan Africa and the largest of all Oriental Orthodox Churches. About 34% of Ethiopians are Muslims. In the far south of Ethiopia live many tribal groups speaking Omotic and Nilo-Saharan languages. Orthodox Christianity generally didn’t influence these people; they retained their indigenous beliefs or converted to Islam or by foreign Christian missionaries.